Review: Deep Water

DEEP WATER (2022)

I truly believe that there is a good movie deep down inside of this train wreck called Deep Water, but botched performances and uninspired writing leads to an ultimately silly product that should have fans of the source novel asking for a do-over.

As his wife (Ana de Armas) enjoys the company of a variety of men outside of their marriage, Vic (Ben Affleck) just wants to keep their union strong at any costs, leading to excessive mind games and dangerous realities for those who get involved. Adrian Lyne really misses the mark with this one, subjecting viewers to an unclear game of cat-and-mouse for the first rather boring hour of this mysterious thriller. Armas is overly committed to playing the philandering wife and is hard to take your eyes off of when on screen while Affleck seems to have no interest in being there whatsoever. It’s not that he’s playing what the role demands, it’s that his emotionless presence is a drain on every aspect of the film. Weren’t these two in a relationship in real life? Why is their chemistry that of oil and water on screen? Affleck spends the majority of his time glaring into the distance, likely questioning what he is doing there, and continuously failing to communicate any depth of character whatsoever. It is all capped off by a downright laughable climax unfortunately brought on by both Affleck on a bike (yes…) and the usually solid Tracy Letts in a finale that is mind-boggling and ridiculous both in how we got to it and in writing.

Lyne could have focused more on the marital bonds that lead Affleck’s character to his state of mind and influence his actions, but we’re instead left wondering if we missed something: why is he so determined to make this marriage work? There is little to no exposition that sets the stage for how this relationship came to be; instead we’re thrown into this world of continuously exuberant and lavish parties, each serving as a catalyst to the next hurdles in the story for Vic, but all unbelievable. What little intrigue Deep Water contains is buried by an absolute mess of a film. Thrilling it is not. Erotic? In the eye of the beholder.

Deep Water hits Hulu this Friday.

Rating: 2/5

Photo from Variety

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